In a historic and shocking turn of events, Donald J Trump has been elected president of the United States of America. How are Muslims in and out of America reacting?
Shaykh Walead Mosaad, Sakina Collective
Donald Trump has won this election and it would be a mistake on our part to attribute it merely to the racism, sexism, and xenophobia of uneducated rural whites. Many people came out to vote for him in unprecedented numbers because they are fed up with a system that continually enriches a ultra-small elite at the expense of the masses who no longer have adequate access to well paying jobs, healthcare, and education. The neoliberal system that has been in place for much of our history is showing signs of wear and is probably long beyond its expiry date. Yes, Trump may be a false prophet, but when people have to choose between the continuance of a status quo that has impoverished them and between the false promise of a conman, desperation has a way of finding hope in the dimmest of places. The best article I have read analyzing the phenomenon of this year’s election: The Republicans and Democrats failed blue-collar America. The left behind are now having their say.
Tahera Ahmed, Director of Interfaith Engagement/Associate Chaplain at Northwestern University
So if you didn’t vote because you said it was “haram” and argued to wait until somehow you created a Khilafah system…. well then mubarak on your new Khalifah Donald Trump… It’s time to wake up, its time to work hard, it’s time to love, it’s time to heal and it’s time to push forward. Whenever someone says ‘I just ain’t gonna vote cuz the system is jacked’ or when a Muslim says, ‘I don’t vote cuz I think it’s haram’ although they continue to live here and reap the benefits and reject agency to implement change. What they don’t realize is how privilege has blindspots. Its so easy to dismiss the many lives who shed their sweat and blood, particularly our Black brothers and sisters so that we can vote. If you’re not voting because you reject this so-called ‘kafir system’….Really? We are living and eating and breathing in this system and rather than work towards making it better you’re easily dismissing what others have shed their blood for. We need to check our privilege…
Mufti Mohamed-Umer Esmail, Imam at Nueces Mosque.
As we near the dawn of a Trump presidency, my advice to my Muslim brothers and sisters is to exercise patience and caution, and continue to be positive and optimistic despite the negativity as this is the tradition of Islam and Muslims. Let’s transform the challenges of a Trump presidency facing us into opportunities; opportunities of understanding and dialog, as was the habit of our Prophet (peace be upon him) and demonstrate utmost forbearance, courage, and wisdom in the face of all difficulties and calamities. We pray that God guides Donald Trump to be merciful to all His creation; especially muslims and minorities, and let this be a wake up call for us.
Sana Saeed, Producer/Host at AJ+
A Trump presidency will impact everyone but it’s really going to hurt the poor and people of color – we’re gonna need to be and have allies. Be there for your black, latino, immigrant, muslim, undocumented, undereducated, lgbtq, sikh, low income neighbours tomorrow & every day. Be ready to protect places of worship – black churches, mosques, sikh temples, synagogues. I’m a believing woman, I have faith in goodness – but the propensity *all* human beings have towards chaos and hate is real. Even if Clinton had won this hate would be there. With Trump, it’s at the highest level in a system that wasn’t built to protect any of us. Many marginalized communities live in a quiet fear everyday of what can or will happen to them & their communities. A Trump presidency takes it to another level. More than a President Trump in and of himself, I’m worried about how for many [white] Americans – any means to ‘make America great again’ will be possible. Hold onto your loved ones tightly. And get ready to march, tear down and build up.
Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, Executive Director of SeekersHub Global
Truth will trump falsehood, as and when God wills.
Omid Safi, Director, Duke Islamic Studies Center at Duke University
Let us stop saying “How could this happen in America”, “Who are these voters.” This, my friends, is America. This is the racism and bigotry that has been with us in America, wrapped right around all that is good and beautiful about this country. But all we have to do is ask Native Americans, African Americans, and all who have seen the terrible side of America know that this too is America. If we want to see an America that we are proud of, we have to build that America. It is not in our present, and was not part of our past, it can only be in our shared future. Yes, so many of us feel fear and dread. But we refuse to give up on hope. Let us be what scripture calls us to be: Prisoners of Hope. That hope has to come by reaching out and embracing all those who are fearful and vulnerable right now, and tomorrow, and day after tomorrow.
Shaykh Muhammad Adeyinka Mendes, Founding Director at AHAD Institute
Maybe, just maybe, a Trump regime…I mean presidency, will rouse some of us from our apathetic slumber.
Mona Rahman, Islamic Society of Kingston
Sent the kids to bed and they were worried then. What will we tell them in the morn? That the bully won? For all of those who are sitting on their couches saying “I told you”. Know this….those words do not do anything. Sitting and stating that the white supremacists are back does not do anything. And that is why it is frustrating. Don’t be a couch commentator…go and pray and then do something to change this world. We trust in Allah…but tie that camel and do your part by changing what is in yourselves so we can then change the world.
Ustadh Abdullah Bin Hamid Ali, Senior faculty at Zaytuna College; Founding Director of the Lamppost Education Initiative
Don’t be a sore loser. Don’t be a cry baby either. One thing that Americans take pride in is sports. Both teams cannot win, and definitely not all the time. If you think your world has come to an end, it is only you who can make that a reality. You can only control “your” reaction. You can defend yourself from another’s. Life will continue. But how good and safe that life will be depends largely on your own decisions, your own courage, and your own level of commitment. Many of you prayed and worshiped hoping that God would give victory to your champion. But God does not take sides in such competitions, especially when the tool of prayer is misused. The Qur’an teaches us, “No affliction befalls you on Earth nor to yourselves except that it is in a record before We bring it to light; verily, that is easy for God; in order that you are not grieved by what has passed you nor that you are overjoyed by what has come to you. God does not like any conceited boaster” (Q 57:23). If your faith in God has dwindled for not receiving what you asked for, it is your own fault. God always answers prayers. His answer sometimes is simply, “No!” Humiliation is often a means for elevation. Take advantage of this opportunity to introspect and reform your deeds. Look deep into the core of your heart to discover what truly has priority. Life will carry on. Death will certainly come in its time. The refuge is with God.
Mona Hagmagid, student at University of Pennsylvania
I love my father for many reasons, but one of them is that he always has and continues to guide me through moments that are really hard to process. Tonight, I called him needing healing and comfort. He reminded me of the story of the Prophet (saw) and Abu Bakr (ra) in the cave of Thawr together, and Abu Bakr (ra) was so scared because the enemy was right outside. The Prophet (saw) told him that though they were two, Allah was their third. Our Prophet Muhammad (saw) went through extreme suffering, far greater than what many of us can imagine, and he is now the beloved leader of one of the largest, most diverse faiths on the planet. He was taken to heaven and promised his place in it because he worked tirelessly to make the world a better place, and to promote justice to everyone. All the while Allah was by his side. Change has never happened in this country simply by submitting a ballot and hoping it all works out for the better. Systematic and meaningful change requires work, and resources. Change is strategic and purposeful, change occurs when people decide to take a chance and sacrifice their time and energy for the sake of Allah. Change begins in our masajid, our schools, in our MSAs and in our households. Change takes to the streets and to the microphones and to the publishing houses. Change is continuous and it is tiring. Sometimes change doesn’t even show herself until years after the tears and sweat have dried, and bodies have decomposed. We do not live our lives for The Change. It is the process and the purity in struggling for it that brings us closer to Allah (swt). The ballots we cast today only decided what battles we will be fighting for the next four years, not who wins them. Let’s move.
Linda Sarsour, Co-Founder/CEO at MPower Change, Executive Director at Arab American Association of New York
Listen. I am feeling determined. This is a wake up call. I know, it seems like the end of the world but it’s not. Don’t despair. I know we feel disappointed. But now it’s all just a bit more clearer. No matter what happens tonight, we will get up tomorrow and organize harder and more than we have ever organized before. I am more committed now than I ever was. Hope. There’s always us and hope. We are hope. Abdullah Hammoud, young Arab American Muslim just won a state legislature seat in Dearborn. Ilhan Omar just became the first Somali American woman in the country to win a State legislature in Minnesota. Hope. I still have it. Heart. I still have it. Mind, skills, courage – I still have it. We all have it. No more silent majority. Now its time to get bigger and louder than ever. We are not a people moved by fear. We are a community moved by love, compassion and justice. Keep your head up and show up when you are called to the streets, called to action. I am not committed to any political party or person, I am committed to us, to our families, to our communities. We are what matters.
Hina Khan-Mukhtar, ILM Tree in Lafayette, California
One of my son’s shuyukh wrote this text to his students just now: Time to celebrate. I just gave cake to my kids and am having cake myself. My daughter asked me, “Why are you celebrating?” I told her, “I am celebrating because Allah is in control no matter who the President will be.”